Auburn Hills — Camelot began to fall in Auburn Hills when Chauncey Billups was traded from the Pistons to the Denver Nuggets in 2008, as he notably ramped up his game in stark contrast to the Pistons’ decline.
So as he returned to help the franchise return to, at the very least, respectability, he admitted he watched the Pistons with mixed emotions.
Billups averaged 18 points and 6.4 assists in his first season back home with Denver, helping lead them to the Western Conference finals in 2009 before averaging a career-high 19.5 points and 5.6 assists the next season.
“It was, for one, validation for me because I kept making All-Star teams and making teams better,” said Billups, who has played for the Nuggets, Knicks and Clippers since leaving Detroit. “I didn’t want to see the Pistons suffer, but at the same time I wanted people to know why it was what it was.”
He spoke with an slight edge to reporters gathered at The Palace’s West Atrium, where he was initially greeted by cheers and applause from Palace employees and some season-ticket holders.